Thursday, July 21, 2011

Penultimate farewells

Apparently, Michelangelo was on to something. The last supper may have been serious, but the penultimate one? That was "a real mother of a blowout."

At least that was the experience today at my penultimate day at work.

A bunch of friends took me to lunch at an Indian restaurant. It was cool. Butter chicken is really good. The company, of course, was better. We left about 11, and my party at work started at 1.

We got back at like 1:01, and there was already a bunch of folks gathering.

The head of distribution (my work group) kicked things off. He noted that the people at the party came from print and dot-com and how I was one who really helped build the bridge between the two. He ended by saying that he asked my boss what to say. "Just tell him we love him and'll miss him," he said my boss said. So he ended: "Matt, we love you and'll miss you."

Oh gosh. I was ready to lose it there, but there was more.

My boss spoke, saying that he'll miss being able to turn around and ask almost any question and be confident I'd give the right answer. (Side note: I was totally stumped this morning on getting a printout of a full webpage. And it turned out to be a webpage for my party, which I hope to post later.)

He said lots of other stuff that proves he is a great boss and greater friend. I asked him for a copy of his speech because I knew Mom would want to see it. It passed muster with her.

 He also unveiled my presents. One was the webpage, which I have to get a electronic copy of. It is good. They also had one of our artists do this picture and signed it around the edges. My boss is going to bring those by my house after they are framed. They also gave me a single cup tea maker because my boss will no longer be there to get me water for tea every morning. Then I got a mug and stuff.

I know, holy cow, right?

Then I said a few words.

I had thought about what I wanted to say for a while, but didn't write it down. As I told them: Writing it would have made my leaving more real than I wished. But here is the gist of what I said:

Thank you all for letting me be a part of your stories, both those you wrote for the paper and the stories of your lives. When I look back 10 or 15 years, I can see I am a much better person. I give Claren a lot of the credit for that. What credit she doesn't get goes to all of you. You have all made me a better person. Thank you.

I spoke loud. My speech therapist would be proud. I even made eye contact. I got through it then without crying, though I did tear up typing it and telling Mom. During the speech, my emotions seeped out via my legs, which crept higher and higher as I spoke. At the end, my legs were parallel to the ground.

A friend I went to college with added something then. Or she was before I talked, I forget. She reminded me that one of the nicknames I had at the college newspaper was "Pound for pound, the most powerful man at the Cavalier Daily." (Because I weighed so little, and had a fair number of votes in the organization.) She said that was still true, although I do weigh more now.

Then we all toasted me and had sugar-free chocolate cake and lots of people wished me well.

One of my friends was weepy, and she almost made me cry, but then she spilled wine on me so I recovered. A couple others told me they cried, including one who escaped jury duty for a day to make the party.

The Money copy desk stopped by after the party. They come in later and had gotten me a card and some stuff for me and Claren.

I am making the right choice, I know. Lots of people, not just ones I am related to, assure me I will bring out kindness and friendliness in others. But, gosh, I LOVE THE PEOPLE AT USA TODAY.

(I stole these photos from Facebook. Thanks Emily and Sandy.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me cry. You are an amazing big brother and I am so proud to be your little sister.


Anonymous said...

Getting to know you through these lovely (and, admittedly, occasionally harrowing) posts. Today's gave me a good cry.

I hope tomorrow goes well. Looking forward to hearing tales of the new office!

Danger Kitten said...

I wish I could have been there. And you are loved, and you will make others smile. And feeling like crap leaving is pretty standard.. it's a good thing. If you were thrilled and couldn't wait to leave, you know you'd stayed too long.
Love you Mattalicious.

Anonymous said...

awesome, and not just the tshirt.

Matt Trott said...

I apparently gave lots of people good cries. Thanks!

Friday was weird and sad, but I made it.

Thanks. I mostly feel like I am abandoning people I are so much about. But I wouldn't have done this if I wasn't 99% sure it was the right move.

My boss knew the shirt because he is a Big Bang fan. Jim Parsons was in his niece's wedding.

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